Project case studies
UgandaWatch: A Case Study
In response to the violations of electoral law that occurred during the 2006 elections in Uganda, the National Democratic Institute and several Ugandan election monitoring organizations launched a comprehensive monitoring strategy.
Case Study: Examining the Effectiveness of the 50/50 Campaign in Malawi’s 2014 Elections
The purpose of this case study is to assess the effectiveness of the efforts by Malawian NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) in their 50/50 Campaign leading up to the national tripartite elections that took place in May 2014. Although the 50/50 Campaign, a movement that encourages gender equality in legislative bodies, is a cause that has been taken up by many NGOs across several African nations, the 2014 national elections in Malawi are of special interest because of the obvious backslide in gender equality in parliamentary representation that occurred. Most notably, the percentage of MPs who were female jumped from 13.99 percent to 22.27 percent from 2004 to 2009; however, that percentage dropped to 16.58 percent after the 2014 elections, marking the only drop in the percentage of female MPs since the country’s restoration of democratic elections in 1994.
Case Study // Code for Africa
Journalism in Africa has struggled significantly for a long time. Part of the problem results from a lack of resources and a lack of access to key tools and methods that allow journalism to succeed. Furthermore, the problem is exacerbated by impact of foreign media. Often, the news agenda is decided by foreign organizations such as BBC, Reuters, and the Associated Press. These outlets have the resources to come and report on what they perceive to be the issues. However, these journalists lack the ability to understand the nuances of the continent, which often results in irresponsible reporting that is sometimes even false.
A Case Study on Electoral Cycle Support in Malawi
After introducing a multi-party democracy in 1994, Malawi has experienced a turbulent path to democracy plagued by 20 years of volatile elections and corruption. To combat a lack of election credibility, the project supported the Malawi Election Commission (MEC) to conduct genuine elections through “the delivery of technical assistance and the international procurement of essential materials, and provided a UNDP Basket Fund” to coordinate financial support from different Development Partners. After the election, the project facilitated the development of institutions and transitioning the technical capacity for MEC to implement elections in the future without assistance. To fund the project, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) assembled a basket fund compiled from various foreign donors including Irish Aid and the Department for International Development – United Kingdom.
Can Text Messages Improve Local Governance? The U-Bridge Program in Uganda (August 2014-November 2015)
The U-Bridge project in Uganda’s northwest Arua District is intended see whether the rapid penetration of mobile technology in low-income countries can be harnessed to improve governance outcomes. Amidst weak channels of political communication, this project seeks to determine if technological innovations that reduce the cost of access to public officials improve political communication, citizen voice, and ultimately, citizen welfare. U-Bridge is an SMS-based (text message) service request system designed to open a new channel of communication between citizens and local government officials, allowing citizens to report public service deficiencies. It is a voluntary program where citizens register to participate in the sending and receiving of messages. Positive Results
Food Democracy and AgrEcol Afrique : Empowering Communities Through Organic Agriculture
AgrEcol Afrique began in Switzerland in 1983 and became an entirely Senegalese-run NGO in 1996. Its mission is to promote the vision and practice of organic farming in Senegal to achieve future food security and economic empowerment. AgrEcol Afrique broaches food insecurity by addressing various stakeholders at different points within the food commodity chain. It operates “from the ground to the table” whereby it facilitates education and growth for producers and aids in the transformation and market process for consumers. As a result, its promotion of organic farming serves to combat agribusiness and empower rural communities to preserve local land for domestic use against officials and foreign companies.
Overthrowing Mugabe Through Blood Diamonds
The Republic of Zimbabwe is a “landlocked sovereign state located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers.” Zimbabwe has been an independent state since April 1980, with Mugabe’s authoritarian regime, also known as the ZANU-PF, being in charge for the past 36 years. Over the yearsZimbabwe has seen many negative impacts to their society as a direct result of the Mugabe regime; including, massacres to opposition groups to the ZANU-PF, state-controlled media, rigged elections through intimidation, economic collapse caused by hyperinflation, ZANU-PF leaders receiving exceptional benefits, contested land reform, informal business owners punished by ZANU-PF, and many other negative factors. It is essential that an opposition group can successfully overthrowthe Mugabe regime to create a healthy democratic society.
Case Study on Effects of Digital Media Journalism Training in MENA
Executive Summary: The International Center for Journalists partnered with USAID to provide to journalists from the region of Middle East and North Africa a comprehensive online training program in multimedia reporting, several digital media “boot camps”, and a final trip to the US for networking and development of individual projects including seed funding to further the top five proposals of selected journalists. The stated purpose was to harness the power of journalist to expose issues relevant to the nation and increase government accountability in the wake of the Arab Spring. In the year 2012, several of the top five journalists were from the Kingdom of Morocco. While the program succeeded in training 100 journalists per year in its four-year history, it could not fully address the structural issues that remain that prohibit full access to independent, investigative journalism in Morocco. Lessons learned:
In response to constant political repression and the government’s recent introduction of bond notes, this paper outlines a mobilization plan that aims to empower the middle class and unite the opposition in Zimbabwe. This plan focuses on the use of Bitcoin which is a “virtual currency that has been devised for anonymous payments made entirely independent of governments and banks”. Bitcoin will provide citizens with an alternative currency that is safe from the government dominated bondnotes, and also it serves as a means to protest the government’s illegitimacy. Mobilization Strategy
Zambia: Putting Health News in the Headlines
The purpose of this case study is to look at the effectiveness of the project Zambia: Putting Health News in the Headlines in enhancing journalism by focusing more extensively on health coverage. This project came to fruition through the combined efforts of the Gates Foundation, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Antigone Barton. Barton lived in Zambia and worked with Zambia Daily Mail for one year, during which time she developed several goals in coordination with journalists living and working in Zambia. These goals included the following: Develop a sustainable health desk at the Zambia Daily Mail; Create and share a health reporting newsletter; Produce multiple in-depth health reporting projects; Develop a successor for Barton, so that when she left her work would continue.
Case Study: Standing Up Against Crime in the Million Man MarchSouth Africa 2008
In 2008, crime had reached an all-time high in South Africa. Assault, robbery, and even murder seemed to appear more and more often in newspaper headlines. During 2008-2009, approximately 2.1 million serious crime cases were reported in South Africa.
Voice of America Media Development in Nigeria
Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press index states that only 14 percent of the world's citizens live in countries that enjoy a free press. In the rest of the world, “governments as well as non-state actors control the viewpoints that reach citizens and brutally repress independent voices who aim to promote accountability, good governance, and economic development”.As more countries experience tumultuous and dynamic political situations, the need for true, independent media to explain what is happening both inside and outside the country is essential.
Code for Africa
Communication does not exist in a vacuum; it is part of a total life environment. It is conditioned by a country’s economy, technological infrastructure, politics, social-cultural traditions and goals. Today, this is a growing problem throughout various countries in Africa. Cynicism about African democracy has led governments to narrow their development priorities, leaving liberties like press freedom and open data off of the agenda. Data is an important tool that makes journalism more immediate and more relevant to individual readers. Code for Africa is an organization whose key initiative is under the title “Data-Journalism”. The program aims to catalyze African media to deliver ongoing, high-quality news that engages audiences and sparks systemic change around important issues. One specific partnership is with a grassroots organization, Hacks/Hackers Africa, and helps synchronize and amplify their programs. This partnership includes evening seminars, more intensive policy roundtables, weeklong skills boot camps, advanced master classes, and Code4Democracy hackathons. The organization has expanded throughout Africa, howeverseveral chapters are in need of support and leadership to become active. This is a detailed assessment that provides a concise source of information that exposes the necessity of data-journalism in developing countries.
Improving Access to Justice in Post-War Liberia
Issues in Democracy Promotion “An often overlooked yet critical element to achieving this aim [of post-conflict reconstruction] is the prioritization of the restructuring and empowerment of community-based justice mechanisms that have been damaged or discredited by the war.” -Jimmy Carter In 2006, The Carter Center partnered with the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission to provide free legal services to rural villages in 5 of Liberia’s Southeastern counties. The project is known as the Improving Access to Justice in Liberia Program. The Access to Justice Program is one of the contributors to the Carter Center’s overarching goal in reconstructing the role of law in post-war Liberia. The legal services were implemented through the training and installation of 32 Community Legal Advisors under the management of Carter Center and JPC lawyers. The CLA’s main objectives are to: help people interact with government, courts, and traditional authorities, mediate small-scale conflicts, and advocate for justice. This case study will provide background on the organizations and nation involved, describe the goals and implementation of the project, and provide data to evaluate the effectiveness of the program determining possible solutions.
Case Strategy: Zimbabwe
The 2008 Presidential election in Zimbabwe caused great controversy in southern Africa. The presidential incumbent, Robert Mugabe, held the title since 1980 and ran for the second time against the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai. What seemed as a normal election for the people of the Zimbabwe turned into confusion as the results were withheld for over a month by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). When petitioned by the court to release the results, the ZEC called the vote in favor for Tsvangirai and the MDC. Mugabe and the ZANU-PF party called for a recount and the ZEC found that they could not call the first round a runoff. Before the 2008 election Mugabe's view had been that of a confident incumbent. He is even quoted to say "If you lose an election and are rejected by the people, it is time to leave politics" but after losing the first round to Tsvangirai, that optimistic view changes (BBC News). With seemingly only 47% of the vote, the ZEC was not able to call the election and the second round of votes would begin. After Mugabe and the militia began to use violence against opposition members in order to intimidate and ensure the second round of results, Tsvangirai dropped out of the election in order to protect his supporters. The results of that 2008 election are still unclear and the ZEC has lost creditability. Even Mugabe's willingness to use force against supporters of the opposition makes it hard to know for sure. Even though he faces scrutiny from the West, Mugabe will not allow forany outside organizations to come and proctor the second round of voting. In this paper, I will offer considerations for how to work the polling in the future and offer campaign ideas to legitimize the next election.
A Case Study on the Success of Johns Hopkins’ Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project in South Africa
Newly democratic South Africa has features of corporatism. Under conditions of corporatism, “neither a social democratic nor a liberal non-profit regime is foreseeable” (Social Surveys). Key stakeholders should continue to monitor and disseminate information about civil society and the nonprofit sector in order to gauge South Africa’s movement towards either a liberal or statist regime.
Nonviolent Action in Zimbabwe’s 2008 Elections
For those concerned with ensuring free and fair elections in the world, the 2008 elections in Zimbabwe draw immediate attention. In the election, opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party challenged the longtime authoritarian President Robert Mugabe of the ZANU-PF party. However, after multiple rounds of voting and suspected election fraudand corruption by the Mugabe government, Mugabe stood again as the President of Zimbabwe. This investigation will seek to answer two important questions: what methods and tactics did each side employ in this electoral struggle, and what strategies might have worked against Mugabe as he sought to oppress the opposition? Below is a summary of the findings.
Zimbabweans for Free and Fair Elections: Ending Mugabe’s Corruption
Robert Mugabe, who was first elected to the Zimbabwean presidency in December of 1987, has watched his nation’s economy and level of corruption throughout his rule go from bad to worse to disastrous. The Rhodesian-born Mugabe has faced harsh criticism from both international and Zimbabwean figures throughout his presidency, specifically, in regards to his racist policies, corrupt administration, fear tactics, and tanking economy. Mugabe faced his most serious challenge of power in the 2008 elections, where he campaigned against opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. After declaring Tsvangirai to have not won a majority several weeks after the elections (a declaration that was highly contested), the government announced the necessity of a runoff election. Eventually, Mugabe used fear tactics and violence targeted at opposition supporters to effectively force Tsvangirai to withdraw from the election.
Case Study: Implications of U.S. Arab Spring Involvement For the United Arab Emirates& U.S.-U.A.E. Relations
In early 2012,as the Arab Spring continued to give rise to demonstrations and revolutionsin several Middle Eastern nations, sentiments of political dissent spread to the United Arab Emirates, a small oil-rich Middle Eastern country with an autocratic government and limited civil rights.
Coordinating a Non-violent Resistance Campaign in the Wake of the 2008 Zimbabwean Presidential election
The purpose of this paper is to provide a strategy for the fictional organization Zimbabweans for Free and Fair Elections (ZFFE) to achieve its goal of having the Mugabe regime release the actual results of the 2008 presidential election, or transferring election collation to a reputable monitor.The paper asserts that ZFFE should influence the populace and more specifically the opposition to focus on electorate expansion and mobilization in order to pressure individuals making up the supporting pillars of the Mugabe regime to alter the status quo. History, causes and nature of conflict
Waging Peace: Electoral Monitoring in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo was faced with the challenge of holding national elections in 2006, 45 years after the previous elections that resulted in the assassination of the first elected Prime Minister in 1961. The DRC was then ruled for over 25 years by dictator Mobutu Sese Soku. The past decade has seen the DRC endure civil war and constant violence in a never-ending struggle for power in the under-developed central African nation.
GreaterGood South Africa
GreaterGood South Africa is an organization that connects social change-makers and mobilizing resources for nonprofits. They work together with GreaterCapital South Africa to help businesses and non-profits invest in social change and encourage others to think and act in a socially responsible manner. However, their work is lacking a few key connections and taking a big loss because of them. The greatest loss of capital and motivation is typically due to the lack of connection between people that have the know-how and people that have the ability. Giving people platforms to connect will not guarantee that a connection is made. Evaluating how strong a project’s outcomes are is difficult and subjective. In-house evaluations and monitoring are subpar given the availability of external firms that could do the job without bias. Social media access and new website creation is expensive and should only be invested in and maintained if the access is widespread and useful.
Group Exercise Expanded: Zimbabwe and Election Fraud
In 2008, controversy erupted in the Southern African country of Zimbabwe. Following a general election, it appeared that the country’slongtime autocratic leader, Robert Mugabe, had lost the election to Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the opposition movement. However, the pro-Mugabe government disputed the loss, claiming that Tsvangirai had not received the percentage of votes necessary to take office and a runoff election was required. Supporters of Tsvangirai and outside observers claimed the results were erroneous due to election tampering. Regardless, Tsvangirai opted to withdraw from the runoff election for fear of the repercussions his supporters may face. The purpose of this paper is to generate a non-violent struggle focused on brining fair and free elections to the country. The paper begins with an overview of Zimbabwe, which includes of a brief history of the country, the cause and nature of the conflict, an analysis of the region, an exploration of the type of conflict, a
Journalism for Democracy: An Analysis of the International Center of Journalists’ Work in Egypt
The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) has been operating in the Middle East North Africa region since 2005. In 2010, the ICFJ started a program training citizen journalists in Egypt with the majority of the funds provided by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the Department of State. According to program director Natasha Tynes, now a former employee of the ICFJ, the purpose of the program "aimed at raising professional standards and helping citizen journalists gain reporting skills and digital know how.”
Egyptian Government Bans ICFJ, Issues Arrest Warrants to Many Others
On June 4, 2013, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 43 defendants to various prison terms on charges of receiving illicit funds and operating without a license in Egypt. The defendants were non-governmental organization (NGO) workers and were German, US, Norway, Palestine, Jordan, and Serbian nationals as well as two Egyptians. The court sentenced 27 defendants to five years prison in absentia, meaning they were not present in the proceedings of the court during sentencing. Of the defendants present in court during sentencing, five, including one American, were sentenced to two years behind bars. The remaining 11 defendants that showed up in court were given one-year suspended sentences.
Social Media: An Instrument of Democratic Advocacy
The events of the Arab Spring revolutions demonstrated the push by citizens for political rights and social issues. The subsequent mobilization that occurred is credited to the use of social media as a tool to inform both the domestic and international public of events instantly as they happened, beating other channels of news distribution. In order to continue the effective promotion of democracy abroad, strict regulations, censorship, and blocking must be alleviated to increase citizen exposure to information. The free flow of knowledge will thus become a forum for innovative ideas and dialogue to establish an up-to-date and well-informed civic-minded public.